Friday, 31 December 2010

New Years Eve.

Fiona has cut the top off the fat church candle, so we can reach the wick again.
The large crystals of its rough cut edge reflect the light from the flame
like a snow-bank in a pink dawn.

Thursday, 30 December 2010


A single brown leaf blows into the house when I enter. It rests upon the muddy footprints on the wooden floor.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

29th December 2010

We talk about which Jamie Oliver book is best,
and her cancer treatment
in the same tone of voice.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas day (nut-roast)

cross section of a hazelnut
perfectly hewn in two
smeared with cranberry jelly

Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas eve

dirty road markings
appearing through
the dirty thawing snow

Waiting in the train station.

An old woman in a flowery blue headscarf recites the names of Allah,
her thumb on her prayer beads. Click. Click.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Third cup of tea of the morning.

The steam from the kettle curls like dry ice around the toaster, and underneath the kitchen cupboard.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Three days before Christmas...

Staff, in red Christmas t-shirts, watch
a middle aged man with a small tattoo behind his ear
hold himself steady on the bookshelf.
His breath tastes like smoke and whisky.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


A young girl falls onto a giant Christmas decoration.
Her mother worries about the bruises to the cardboard cube.

Monday, 20 December 2010

caught in slowly turning headlights

more snow flakes than I can count
hardly falling at all

even the weather is divine

'jesus loves
        you  x'

scratched into the frost
on the windscreen
of a blue ford focus

Sunday, 19 December 2010

redwings in the firethorn bush
(its red berries wear snow hats) -
silver watches them from the upstairs window

Saturday, 18 December 2010

At a Worcester poetry reading

 she reads her small stones
 in the silence between words
 our quiet breath

Friday, 17 December 2010

 indigo morning
 dark tire-marks in the snow

Thursday, 16 December 2010


what have I noticed today?
how the water clouds when
I tip in the cut potatoes

how soft your fleece is
when I am crying
into your shoulder

Sunday, 12 December 2010

What's it all about?

The lovely Fiona Robyn* created the idea of  a "small stone" years ago. She's been keeping a weblog A Small Stone since the beginning of time, and has a collection published a book of the same name. (e-book, or paper copy from amazon). They also have a chapter in Sage Cohen's book Writing The Life Poetic.

In January she's encouraging each of us to write a small stone everyday, and publish them on our own weblogs. She'll be collating them and publishing a single stream of them as well. (I'm think we're going to use Yahoo! Pipes, but I'm still working on the technology).

The homepage for all this is a river of stones. Check it out, set up a blog and join in.

What is a small stone?

A small stone is a polished moment of paying proper attention. You can see many fine examples at our sister blogzine, a handful of stones. You can read more about the birth of the concept of small stones here and how to write them here. There are some examples of my own below.

Why would you want to join in?

Because choosing something to write about every day will help you to connect with yourselves, with others, and with the world. It will help you to love everything you see - the good and the bad.

If you would like more love in your life, I'd encourage you to set up your own blog (you can call it whatever you like) and join the river of stones.

This blog, a river of stones, will be the headquarters of the project. I'll keep you up to date with what's going on, and we'll keep a wonderful blogroll of everyone involved.

Will you join me?

I'd especially like 'writers' and 'non-writers' to get involved. If you're too shy for a blog, you can write your small stones in a note-book. It could change your entire year...

Email me your new url at (let me know if you've never had a blog before and I'll help you get started), and do pass this blog address on to your friends know about NaSmaStoMo via Facebook, blogging and Twitter. Let's get something started. Facebook page etc. to follow soon.

I can't wait!


11 month old Florence says look!
every ten minutes there is something new to fill her up with awe


today I saved the life of a pocket-sized mouse -
he had twitching whiskers and trembled in my hand

the moon is so transparent you could slip a thumb-nail under the edge and peel it from the sky


Three days later the sleeping fox is still stretched out on the same patch of grassy verge. The wind makes waves in his pale biscuit fur.

*I should disclose an interest: the lovely Fiona and I are engaged...